BPL 2019: 5 overseas bowlers to look out for

Omkar Mankame

Sunil Narine

To keep company with the numerous cricket events happening in the southern hemisphere, we will see another T20 tournament starting tomorrow. The sixth season of the Bangladesh Premier League starts tomorrow. Usually held in November, the BPL is starting in January this time due to the general elections in Bangladesh.

Seven franchise teams will battle in 46 matches with the final being played on 8th February at Dhaka. This year, the teams will be allowed a maximum of four overseas players than the usual number of five. DRS will also be making its debut in the competition. According to the venues, the league has been divided into five phases.

The delayed timing will cost the BPL of a few superstars. With the BBL (Australia), Super Smash (New Zealand), Sri Lanka-New Zealand and South Africa-Pakistan tours happening, many of the foreign players will be missing out from the T20 League. However, these are the five overseas bowlers who can dazzle in the upcoming Bangladesh Premier League.

#5 Sunil Narine

The West Indian mystery spinner is ubiquitous in T20 cricket. Playing all around the globe, he has earned a place for himself in almost every T20 League being played. At a later part in his career, he acquired the devastating batting skills and now is a lethal batsman at the opening spot.

Along with his batting contributions, Narine has managed to stay relevant with the ball also. In the previous edition of the BPL, Narine playing for Dhaka Dynamites snared 11 wickets from 12 matches. While the number of wickets may be unimpressive, his economy was. In the course of the competition, Narine gave away only 4.95 runs per over, which is unbelievable by T20 cricket standard.

Sunil Narine has been retained by the Dhaka franchise and he will be playing alongside Andre Russell and Shakib Al Hasan this year. The mystery tweaker will look forward to conquering another year of the BPL.

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#4 Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir setting off in celebration

Leg-spinners are the most sought-after commodity in T20 cricket. The wrist spinners become even more lethal on the subcontinental tracks where the pitches offer them some extra turn. The 39-year old Pakistan-born South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir will be making his BPL debut this year.

The leggie has been pouched by the Sylhet Sixers and will represent them in this year’s competition. Tahir already holds the record of representing most number of teams and now he will be adding another to his kitty. Tahir will be playing under the leadership of Australian batsman David Warner and shall be later joined by the Nepalese leggie Sandeep Lamichchane.

2018 was an exciting year for Imran Tahir. Playing against Zimbabwe at home, he registered the outstanding figures of 6/24 that included a hattrick in the ODI. In T20I, Tahir destroyed Zimbabweans with a spell of 5/23. The bowler is renowned for his long-running wicket celebrations, how many such celebrations will we see in the BPL remains to be seen.

Follow Sportskeeda for all the latest Bangladesh Premier League schedule, scores, stats & previews.

#3 Ali Khan

Ali Khan

Born and raised in Pakistan, Ali Khan and his family moved to the USA when he was 18 years old. He garnered a love for cricket and soon his bowling pace and accuracy captured the attention of the selectors. Ali Khan was then selected for the USA national cricket team and he impressed with his performances.

The breakthrough was his stint in the Caribbean Premier League. Making his debut for the Trinbago Knight Riders, Khan dismissed Kumar Sangakkara on his first ball. In CPL 2018, Khan gathered 16 scalps in the successful campaign for TKR. Earlier, he had impressed Dwyane Bravo with his bowling in the Global T20 Canada tournament.

The 28-year-old fast bowler is known for shooting yorkers at the pace of 140 kmph and more. He will be representing Khulna Titans where he will be later accompanied by Lasith Malinga. Ali Khan will be among the fastest bowlers on display at the BPL.

#2 Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga

The legend of white-ball cricket will miss the first week of Bangladesh Premier League as he captains Sri Lanka in New Zealand. But once he is back, the yorker-hurler will be a tremendous asset for the Khulna Titans. Malinga has previous experience of the BPL. Playing for Rangpur Riders last year, he picked up eight wickets in eight matches with the best figures being 2/27.

For some time, there were doubts over Malinga being fit enough to play T20 cricket again. Even the Mumbai Indians team in the IPL preferred him as the mentor and not as a player. However, the Sri Lankan went back and worked hard to regain fitness.

He enjoyed a successful return in the Asia Cup where he registered the figures of 4/23 against Bangladesh. In the home ODIs, he picked up 5/44 versus England. He now leads the Sri Lankan limited-overs team.

Malinga nevertheless possesses the incredible ability to hurl his toe-crushing yorkers at speed. With the tremendous reputation behind him, he will be a serious threat for the batsmen in T20 cricket.

Follow Sportskeeda for all the latest Bangladesh Premier League schedule, scores, stats & previews.

#1 Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi has been playing cricket since eternity or it certainly seems so. The 16-year old Afridi who smashed the fastest ODI hundred on his debut later transformed himself into a new kind of a bowler, a leg-spinner who bowled at 120 kmph. The Pakistani bowler can be deadly on any sort of bowling track and one never knows what he will spring up with the bat.

Last season, Afridi played for Dhaka Dynamites. He played in only eight matches and ended up with the tally of 15 wickets. He twice picked up a four-wicket haul and completed the competition with the economy of seven. This year, leg-spinner was lapped up by Comilla Victorians in the first draft round.

The 38-year all-rounder is not out of match practice. Afridi recently took part in the Afghanistan Premier League and T10 League. On the dusty Bangladeshi tracks, he will be the bowler to watch out for.